Hello and welcome to another Falkenstein Friday!
Last month, I had the extreme pleasure of running a session of Castle Falkenstein. I ran our Babbage's Engine Adventure-Entertainment, written by the amazing Grandmaster of gaming, Mister Steve Kenson and it went swimmingly. For fun, I based the pregenerated Dramatic Characters on a group of Victorian adventurers created by the ever amazing Fandible podcast crew for their Unhallowed Metropolis campaign. If you haven't listened to Fandible, it is simply the most marvelous of "actual play" podcasts available and I recommend it without hesitation or regret.
Of course, since these Dramatic Characters originated in the minds of others, we will never publish a product containing them. However, I do feel I can share these Falkensteinized collection of tragic heroes with Friends of Falkenstein everywhere via this post.
As you read these Dramatic Characters, please be aware that they were created using the Specialization Variation as published in our Ability Variations book (which I, of course, highly recommend picking up). Moira was created well as the alternative rules for Faerie characters in The Memoirs of Auberon of Faerie while Marcus was created using the rules for setting up beastfolk from Curious Creatures.
Lord Byron Clayton
Born the second son of a minor noble in Britain, Byron lived a life of privilege and debauchery. He spent more time in brothels and opium dens than he did learning the business of the Clayton estates. Why should he bother? After all, his brother Horatio was the family’s true heir and had been running the family since their father’s death!
Then Horatio Clayton died, murdered in an anarchist bombing. Now Byron was the head of the family. Unprepared for such matters, Byron fled across the channel. At first he was content to tour the various pleasure dens of the continent but a series of adventures involving a doctor, an artificial man, a rather macabre sorceress, and his dead brother’s Faerie widow have slowly moved the needle of his moral compass towards responsibility.
A few tips on playing Byron Clayton: Truth be told, in your heart you hold little regard for your own worth. Still, you are attempting to be a better person and worthy of the responsibility which the death of your brother has thrust upon your shoulders. The one area in which you truly excel is speaking. Years of falling in and out of trouble have taught you one thing: if you speak fast enough and with enough conviction you can get away with almost any lie or half-truth.
Charisma (♥)[GR/8] ● when bluffing [EXC/10]
Education (♦) [AV/4] ● for languages [GD/6]
Exchequer (♠) [GR/8]
Marksmanship (♣) [GD/6]
Outdoorsmanship (♦) [PR/2]
Perception (♦) [GD/6] ● when reading others [GR/8]
Social Graces (♠) [GD/6]
Tinkering (♦) [PR/2]
Notable Possessions: .32 Pocket Revolver [Range 40 | Load 5 | Conceal P | Wounds 3 (P) / 4 (F) 5 (H)], bank book, passport, signet ring
Languages Understood: English, French, German, and Latin.
Notes: Byron is attempting to break his opium addiction. In any situation where others look to him for guidance he must attempt a Courage Feat against a Requirement of 10 or suffer a one Rank penalty to all Feats he performs in the remainder of the scene.
Mrs. Moira Clayton
One of the Faeries, Moira was content to drift upon the tides of fate and explore the depths of human tragedy. As one of the Banshee, she was drawn to suffering the way an alcoholic is drawn to the bottle. Yet, despite it all, she fell in love with a mortal. Horatio Clayton, a British noble of a minor house, shocked the world when he married a Banshee but they were, for a time, happy together. Fate, however, had other plans. Moira felt the portent mere moments before an anarchist bomb destroyed her husband, her happiness, and her life. Wailing, she cut loose her ties and began to wander the world once more. Yet, Fate had another twist of the thread waiting for Moira Clayton. On the continent she found her husband’s brother, Byron, in dire need of assistance. Unable to turn away her beloved’s kin, she has taken to traveling with Byron and acting as his bodyguard.
A few tips on playing Moira Clayton: You are one of the Banshee and fascinated by the tragedies which mortality brings. Unlike others of your kind, however, you know the bitter sting of loss personally. You have become somewhat terse in your interactions, preferring to observe instead of speak. Your words, when you use them, are important and as much a weapon as your silver blade.
Athletics (♣) [PR/4]
Courage (♥) [GR/8] ● when frightening another [EXC/10]
Etherealness (♣) [GD/6]
Fencing (♣) [GR/8] ● when wielding a Faerie silver blade [EXC/10]
Fisticuffs (♣) [PR/4]
Glamour (♥) [PR/4]
Perception (♦) [GD/6] ● when noticing danger [GR/8]
Portend Danger (♦) [GD/6]
Shapeshift (♣) [PR/4]
Stealth (♣) [EXC/10]
Notable Possessions: Faerie Silver Blade [Wounds 4 (P) / 5 (F) / 6 (H)]
Languages Understood: English, Gaelic
Doctor Charles Israel
Charles Israel was content with becoming an ordinary doctor until he found out the truth about his heritage. He was, in fact, a descendent of the infamous Victor Frankenstein. Since this mind boggling revelation, he has become obsessed with discovering the basic properties of life and how to create it. A year ago, he traveled to Ireland to ferret out rumors of creatures who seemed to be more animal than man and found himself opposing a mastermind known as Moreau. After liberating one of Moreau’s experiments, and upsetting the madman’s allies, Doctor Israel escaped to the continent where he has continued his studies. Recently, he has gained the patronage of Byron Clayton. Technically, he is following Byron in his travels as the man’s personal physician but, in truth, Doctor Israel has learned Byron has a habit of stumbling into unusual discoveries which might very well further the cause of science!
A few tips on playing Doctor Charles Israel: SCIENCE! All capital letters! That’s what matters. You won’t say there are no boundaries when it comes to science but cultural norms mean little compared to the advancement of knowledge. You do have some ethics and you have grown fond of your companions. Still, just because they are people you care for doesn’t mean they aren’t also potential sources of experimental material!
Charisma (♥) [PR/2] ● when speaking to fellow scientists [AV/4]
Courage (♥) [GD/6]
Education (♦) [GR/8] ● for the natural sciences [EXC/10]
Marksmanship (♣) [GD/6]
Mesmerism (♥) [GR/8]
Physician (♦) [GR/8] ● when performing strange experiments [EXC/10]
Social Graces (♠) [PR/2]
Stealth (♣) [PR/2]
Tinkering (♦) [GD/6]
Notable Possessions: .22 Derringer [Range 10 | Load 2 | Conceal P | Wounds 1 (P) / 2 (F) / 3 (H)], doctor’s bag, 4 vials full of interesting chemical substances.
Languages Understood: English, French, German, Greek, Latin, Russian.
Mister Marcus O'Carroll
Marcus has only flashes of memory of his life before Moreau woke him. From that day forward he was both experiment and servant, helping Moreau during the day by fetching this or carrying that and, in the evening, being poked and prodded and injected with all manner of strange substances before being chained up for the evening. His life changed when a man named Doctor Charles Israel came to visit Moreau. The two scientists had a falling out and the good Doctor liberated Marcus. Grateful for the rescue, Marcus has become Doctor Israel’s lab assistant during his travels around the world.
A few tips on playing Marcus O’Carroll: You remember your name is O’Carroll. You remember you are Irish and you are Catholic. You remember little beyond that so you cling to those things. You are fiercely loyal to the Doctor and have come to respect the others to some degree. Your own seemingly inhumanity disturbs you but you try to put that out of your mind as you make your way through the world.
Athletics (♣) [GD/6] ● when leaping or jumping [GR/8]
Courage (♥) [GD/6]
Education (♦) [PR/2]
Fencing (♣) [GD/6]
Fisticuffs (♣) [GR/8] ● when wielding a walking stick [EXC/10]
Physique (♣) [GR/8] ● for acts of brute strength [EXT/12]
Sorcery (♦) [PR/2]
Notable Possessions: Walking Stick [Blows 2 (P) / 3 (F) / 4 (H)], rosary beads, crucifix
Languages Understood: English (spoken only)
Notes: Marcus has somehow been enhanced due to the experiments of Moreau. His Health is higher than that of a human and he can lift a maximum of 800 pounds and bend steel bars with intense effort.
Mistress Penny Black
Not all the witches of the world died during the Inquisition and the hunts. Some went underground, hiding their true nature. They married and hid and played nice with society but passed along their knowledge from mother to daughter, generation to generation, across the centuries.
Miss Penny Black is such a witch. Her mother raised her alone, teaching her the secret arts gleaned from their ancient goddess. Unlike her ancestors, however, Penny Black did not marry and become a good little woman in society. Instead, using her Magick and her wits, she traveled the world and wrote of her adventures. Her stories have been published in the pages of several magazines around the world and she is making a name for herself. In Vienna she stumbled into an adventure involving a clockwork maiden and fell in with Byron Clayton and his entourage.
A few tips on playing Penny Black: You are a witch and your power is as ancient and vast as that of any of the modern Sorcerous Orders. Strictly speaking, you do not need to hide your Magick but you tend to do so anyway. Old habits, learned over centuries, die hard. You have a keen mind, a wicked tongue, and an independent spirit.
Athletics (♣) [PR/2]
Craftsmanship (♦) [GR/8] ● when writing stories [EXC/10]
Courage (♥) [GR/8]
Education (♦) [GD/6]
Fencing (♣) [GD/6]
Perception (♦) [EXC/10]
Performance (♥) [PR/2]
Physician (♦) [PR/2]
Sorcery (♦) [GD/6] ● when anchoring spells [GR/8]
Tinkering (♥) [PR/2] ● when picking locks [AV/4]
Notable Possessions: Hatpin [Wounds 1 (P) / 2 (F) / 3 (H)], Abercrombie’s Automatic Recorder, 3 Spell Anchors.
Languages Understood: English, French, German, Latin.
And, with that final entry, I bid you a good weekend!
Your humble servant,